Construction of Stage One of our upgrade is well underway with renewal of the pool and promenade areas on target to re-open for swimming this Summer. We are now planning to commence the concept design of Stage Two, an upgrade of the pavilion buildings, and we recently sought feedback from the community about preliminary floorplan options for these spaces.


Background

We have engaged with the community over recent years to build an understanding of how you use and value the Ocean Baths. Details of these activities can be found on our Ocean Baths Engagement Hub.

During these activities we heard that the community wanted:

  • Updated change and amenity facilities, that are suitable for families
  • An improved swimming experience
  • More food and beverage options
  • The historic character and heritage elements of the site to be retained
  • Improvements to accessibility so that our community can more equitably benefit from the facility.

This feedback, along with feedback from our Community Reference Group, contributed to the development of a User Needs Analysis to help inform decisions about the preliminary floorplan for Stage Two. This was based on an understanding of community needs, current and future demand, and considerations for safety, public health and accessibility.

The User Needs Analysis presented a series of floorplan options, and also highlighted that there is a deficit, or lack, of community space in this part of Newcastle. View the User Needs Analysis (Accessible Version).

The floorplan option we presented for community feedback in late May and early June received generally positive support from the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group at a meeting on 25 May, with feedback including:

  • Generally positive feedback on the intent to provide additional community space as part of the upgrade – with different views on where this could be located and how much space should be provided.
  • Generally positive feedback on the proposed location of the Changing Places and family change facilities at the southern end of the southern pavilion. The logic of these facilities' location, specifically the Changing Places, is to locate them in close proximity to the accessible parking and the accessible pool entry. Another consideration is that this is a change from the historic floorplan, where men's and women's change rooms were located in separate pavilions.
  • There was a range of views on the proposed re-opening of the entryways through the centre of the pavilions – some liked the return of symmetry to the building; others saw this space as an opportunity to locate community space or other facilities.

The preliminary floorplan considers the community's needs, while also considering the constraints of the building space, the coastal location, and possible costs.

Preliminary Floorplan Option

This preliminary floorplan includes the following features:

  • Male and female amenities located alongside the family change rooms and accessible change rooms in the southern pavilion building, closest to the accessible entry ramp into the pool. Accessible parking would be reviewed to suit during Stage 2 design processes.
  • Space for a combined café / kiosk facility in the northern pavilion building with shared kitchen space, views north over the Cowrie Hole towards Nobbys and the breakwater, and direct access down from the Bathers Way to attract customers. 100m2 of space for outdoor dining.
  • 140m2 of flexible indoor community space.
  • Improved lifeguard facilities including storage for equipment and provision of first aid in the central two storey building (similar to existing). Lifeguards will also have use of an observation tower closer to the pool which is being delivered as part of Stage 1.

Click on each of the images below to view them in full screen:

We are also considering the possibility of additional community space on the first floor:

Thanks for having your say!

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey and provided feedback on the preliminary floorplan layouts. We have now appointed a Principal Design Consultant to progress design options considering the feedback received from the community and our Community Reference Group (CRG), alongside information from technical studies.